Great, a Best Revolver article written by a guy who believes a defensive handgun should be a semiautomatic and be made of polymer. You can go ahead and stop reading now. All kidding aside, my advice to everyone looking for a defensive weapon is buy something that works for you and learn how to shoot it accurately. But, I’m still not a revolver guy. Model advice seen below comes on the advice of TFB staff who do use and carry a broad range of wheel guns, and honestly, I’m surprised at the volume of recommendations. For this list, I used the staff pics and sorted them based on a range of prices, availability and reputation. After looking at the numbers, I think we may have to revisit the topic in two or three subcategories: maybe snub nose, large frame and full-sized best revolvers.
Above: Chiappa Rhino In Nebula
TFB Top Picks: The Best Revolvers On The Market
My revolver experience starts and ends with a S&W 642 that I did not enjoy carrying or shooting. However, I find myself wanting a new woods gun, and I’m considering a six shot chambered in .44 Mag versus a 10mm GLOCK. Maybe one of our readers can help me out in the decision process. As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
Best revolvers: SMITH & WESSON – 66 COMBAT MAGNUM .357
Lightweight and Durable, All in a Comfortable Shooting Package
Smith & Wesson’s Model 66 Combat Magnum is built on the K-Frame for the perfect balance between weight and durability for the .357 Magnum cartridge. Since its introduction in 1899, the K-Frame has offered shooters the flexibility to choose between full-power .357 Magnum and mild .38 Special ammunition.
The Model 66 Combat Magnum’s matte stainless steel offers both durability and an attractive, low-glare finish.
- 4.25” barrel
- Red ramp front sight, adjustable rear sight
- Synthetic grips
For recreation, carry, or home-defense, the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum offers sensible weight reduction without sacrifice of shooting characteristics.
BEST REVOLVERS: SMITH & WESSON – 686 3-5-7 MAGNUM SERIES
Elegant and functional, the Model 686 Plus Deluxe pairs the highly popular Smith & Wesson 686 revolver with elegant textured wood grips in the classic look. Chambered with 7 rounds of .357 Magnum, the all stainless steel Model 686 Plus Deluxe offers compact powerful protection, sport shooting and collecting all in one.
BEST REVOLVERS: Ruger GP100 .357Mag
Strength, Simplicity and Ruggedness. Ruger GP100 double-action revolvers are among the most comfortable shooting revolvers. Their rugged, medium-sized frame and cushioned grip system permit repeated firings with minimal shooter fatigue.
- Triple-locking cylinder is locked into the frame at the front, rear and bottom for positive alignment and dependable operation
- Patented grip frame design easily accommodates a wide variety of custom grips
- Takedown of integrated subassemblies requires no special tools and allows for easy maintenance and assembly
- Patented transfer bar mechanism provides an unparalleled measure of security against accidental discharge
BEST REVOLVERS: Taurus Raging Hunter
The Raging Hunter by Taurus is a .44 Magnum, large frame, 6-shot revolver. Its striking Matte Blue finish is enough to grab your attention, but the optics-ready Picatinny rail and angular barrel design will seal the deal.
The unique barrel system incorporates a steel sleeve that is inserted into an aluminum housing that cuts down on the overall weight, making the Raging Hunter the perfect hunting sidearm. The exclusive cushioned insert grips make shooting this firearm comfortable and controllable. Also aiding in recoil management, the unique placement of the factory-tuned porting and gas expansion chamber is designed to disperse gases directionally. this disbursement of gases helps reduce muzzle lift and deliver quicker target acquisition.
This built-to-last revolver is a fun and effective alternative for short to medium range hunting scenarios. The Raging Hunter .44 Mag is also available in a two-tone Stainless and Matte Blue finish for those seeking a more modern look.
BEST REVOLVERS: Kimber K6S CDP .357 Mag
The K6S CDP (Custom Defense Package) is your go-to revolver for concealed carry. Based on the worlds lightest 6-shot .357 Magnum revolver platform, the K6S CDP features superior ergonomics and a smooth match-grade trigger.
- Barrel: 2”
- Caliber: .357 Mag.
- Capacity: 6
- Length: 6.62 in.
- Weight: 1.43 lbs.
The revolver has a black DLC finish, brushed stainless barrel and cylinder small parts, checkered Rosewood grips and tritium night sights.
BEST REVOLVERS: Colt cobra .38 Special
Return of the Colt Cobra
For decades, one of the prominent players in the carry-revolver market was Colt with its .38 Spcl Cobra revolver. After a lengthy absence, the Colt Cobra revolver is back and better than ever, thanks to its compact size that makes it an ideal choice for today’s growing market of concealed-carry holders.
Each Colt Cobra revolver is built on a small frame that holds a six-shot cylinder and a short, two-inch barrel. This compact design aids in concealment and makes it an ideal size for everyday carry, especially given the fact that this gun is more durable than many other carry-oriented designs on the market.
- Overall length: 7.25 inches
- Caliber: .38 Spl.
- Features plain muzzle crown
- Weight: 1.56 pounds
The all-steel design combined with a rubber grip works to reduce felt recoil, making this one of the most-shootable personal-defense guns available today. An exposed hammer spur allows users to cock the gun for an accurate single-action shot, but a long, double-action pull allows for quick shooting as well.
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